On Your Mark… Get Set…

Waiting to start,

a splinter of light against a vast dark.

What can begin to take hold in this barren yet fertile ground?

Chemotherapy strips you down, like paint thinner washing out the last self portrait. On a cellular level, diminished as each and every dark internal corner is washed in an acrid bath. It seeps out of you at night while you’re sleeping, soaking your PJs and making your urine bubble and fizz.

I count time in treatment windows, 7 days apart. One day off, then four daily shots of immune boosting Neupogen. Each day, one foot in front of the other, I count down to NOW… to Four treatments remaining.  I am weary some days and optimistic others, with just a crack in the door beginning to open to the Rest of My Life.

On day 6, just before returning to the Oncologist is when I feel best. I can sense an inkling of normalcy in my system, which is a thing vastly taken for granted by most in good health. My hair is newborn fuzzy, and my nail beds near the little half moons are starting to look pinker and healthier. I am returning to a new version of myself.

I’m eager to feel good again, to really feel myself in this tired, achy body. She has been through so much.

This second birth is so different than the one that brought me forth all new and pink and screaming 37 years ago. Loaded with experience, expectations, and all my stories, I feel edgy and anxious to turn this page, to take a sharp turn and never look back. I wonder if there is a handbook called, “How Not to Burn Out in Your First Year After Cancer”? This next part of my life feels like a gift, a do-over. You get to live Melissa, now what are you going to do with it? I have a year to make up for, and just want to START.

 birth process

 

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12 thoughts on “On Your Mark… Get Set…

  1. You can do it! I really appreciate that you so candidly journal your experiences. I think it somehow helps me gain perspective on anything I might be dealing with as well. I think you are a very special, very brave person! Happy Holidays to you and your family!

  2. I love the hope in your voice. Burning away this year. Planting seeds for whats next. Turning the corner my dear. You are such the warrior. This calls for some new rituals with your ladies, yes? lots of love always

    1. Yes Please! I had such high hopes for a really special New Year’s Eve with my girls… back when this was set to be done by the end of December. I just feel so crummy right now and have to play it by ear. But YES, new rituals of celebration and renewal sounds about right to me. xo

  3. Melissa! Wishing you a New Year of renewed Health and Ease and lots and lots of Love and Joy… for you and your Family! Honored to be a part of your Healing Hope Circle of Support! Much Love *~ ❤ ~* Sue Silverstream~~

  4. You’re a wonderful writer, in addition to everything else. Get strong. The world needs to hear your message and feel your strength. Maybe you’ll bring us that book, “How to not burn out in your first year after cancer.”

  5. I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. You learned a lot this year, and have provided inspiration to many, including me. That¹s what a coach does!!!! Good job.

    Love, Win

    On 12/16/14 11:18 AM, “melissa’s healing hope” wrote:

    > Melissa Eppard posted: “Waiting to start, a splinter of light against a vast > dark. What can begin to take hold in this barren yet fertile ground? > Chemotherapy strips you down, like paint thinner washing out the last self > portrait. On a cellular level, diminished as each” >

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